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Building a People's University in South Africa

Race, Compensatory Education, and the Limits of Democratic Reform

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Gregory M. Anderson

Building a People’s University in South Africa chronicles the transformation of the University of the Western Cape (UWC) from a so-called bush college, originally designated under apartheid for the education of Coloured (mixed-race) students, to South Africa’s first non-racial, open admissions tertiary institution. Viewing UWC as a microcosm of the national-liberation struggle, this book focuses on the limits of democratic reform in South Africa by examining the political, racial, and ideological dynamics and tensions accompanying the demand for access to tertiary education during the 1980s and early 1990s. A pivotal pedagogical analysis of the effects of segregation on the language and identity development of black students is also included. The transformation of UWC is relevant to readers outside of South Africa as well as the text highlights the parallel themes underscoring post-secondary reforms in the United States.